How To Stay Healthy When Eating Out

With New Year’s resolutions well under way, many of us are taking January to reset with a cleanse, detox or perhaps a wellness challenge. So what happens when you have dinner plans out, either for work or with a friend during the program? Do you have to clear your social calendar just to stick to the plan? In my opinion, no. Here’s how I would tackle it so that you can achieve your January goals, while also having a social life.

1) Choose the restaurant

Choosing the restaurant can be a hassle sometimes, so your group will be happy if you offer to do so. This way, you can take a peak at the menu before hand to know what type of food will be on the menu and available.

*If you’re in Toronto, here are my recommendations for 10 Healthy Restaurants in Toronto

2) Call ahead

As a diagnosed Celiac myself, I often call a restaurant ahead of time to ensure they can accommodate me. Chefs appreciate being able to prepare something ahead of time so this often allows you to eat at a restaurant that perhaps normally couldn’t accommodate you. To build on this, if you have any questions about the menu items, you can ask them in advance.

3) Snack ahead of time

Arriving to the restaurant famished is not exactly a recipe for a healthy night out, as you might have a much harder time resisting the not so healthy items on the menu. By snacking in advance, you can skip the appetizer and just enjoy a nice main course.

4) Choose mindfully

You might have the best of intentions for eating out before you arrive at the restaurant, but then as you see the various options, your willpower starts to fade. Something that can be useful is to visualize how you want to feel after the meal, and what choice will help you achieve that.

5) Build your plate properly

Your dietary restrictions are will dictate this, but I would typically choose a clean protein, with roasted or steamed vegetables and a side salad.  For seasoning, you can ask to skip the sauce, or make sure it fits the way that you are eating.

6) Stay booze free

If everyone else is partaking in a drink, something you can do is order a sparkling water, or club soda with a lime in it. It gives you something to sip on and feels like you’re having a drink, without the wicked hangover the next day.

7) Own it

I’ve said this before in my Tips For Staying Booze Free, but if you are the only one in the group watching what you eat, it could feel awkward. But that is all it is – a feeling. Chances are, whoever is not making healthy choices feels worse than you do, so don’t feel embarrassed about the choices you are making, as you’re the one that will be feeling awesome the next day!

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